What does AI Stand For?

In the realm of technology, AI is an acronym of Artificial Intelligence. Defined as the imitation of human activity by machines, AI has invaded our homes, our work places and even our personal belongings. Our smartphone is now an indispensable part of our lives, and AI is at the heart of most smartphones today in one form or another.

Types of AI

There are different types of AI entities depending on the limits of their capabilities. The technology currently available is restricted to ANI, or Artificial Narrow Intelligence. More advanced forms are Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI.)

AI Applications

AI is now being integrated into daily objects to make them smarter, but they’re also prohibitively expensive in some cases. A lot of tech companies today don’t pass on the cost of AI development to their customers, or do it in indirect ways, but the cost burden is still ours to bear as consumers.

For example, you can integrate Amazon Alexa into your product, but since the backend resides in Amazon’s servers, you’ll need to pay a usage-based fee to access “Alexa’s skills,” cleverly speaking.

Other companies like Google also offer a free tier for their AI development tools, and billing is done on overages on top of the free tier.

There are numerous areas where AI can and is being deployed, process automation being the most popular use case. But in its different forms it can be used to give cars full autonomy (self-driving cars), and control smart security systems, smart home and smart building systems, smart appliances, autonomous weapons systems and a variety of other uses. The rest is up to your imagination, and it will tell you whether you’re an optimist, a pessimist, a realist or an idealist.

Pros and Cons of Deep AI Research

Interest in AI research has reached an all-time high, with the world’s top technology companies investing in the billions into AI capabilities for their products or new AI products that can be marketed across the globe. But it’s not all about benefits alone. There’s also a flip side to aggressive AI research and development.

Pros:

  • Enhances the quality of life by bringing automation to our doorstep

  • Will give rise to specialized jobs in AI

  • Will free up employees to focus on more important tasks that cannot be automated

  • Will make businesses, homes and public infrastructure more efficient than ever before

  • Overall, will make our daily lives less mundane and force us to focus on the best of human nature yet ‘un-emulateable’ by machines

Cons:

  • Autonomous smart weapons, obviously

  • Use in cyber crime, especially network attacks

  • Leveraging of IoT products to infect homes and offices. Let’s not forget hijacking a self-driving car and giving the cops a wild chase around downtown New York

  • AGI, the first unknown frontier of human AI research, when machines will be equally capable of any activity or accomplishment thought to be uniquely human

  • Machines building and programming machines, and communicating with them in digital languages not known to humans

  • You know the worst of it. You’ve seen Terminator, right?

AI of the Future

There are many theories of how a future dominated by AI entities rather than humans will unfold. Some hypothesize that AI will find humans to be an impediment to their own progress and will somehow usurp our pole position in modern society. Such an “AI takeover” has been the theme of science-fiction movies for decades.

There’s another school of thought that claims machines will never be able to fully replace human beings because they lack certain key characteristics of humans, such as empathy and common sense.

Regardless of which camp you belong to, the one undeniable fact is that the future will be dominated by AI entities everywhere. Whether they’ll form a coalition to overthrow the human race is a different question altogether.